College basketball preview: Feb. 15, 2013

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Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy,Georgetown University,George Washington University

Top five games

5 Princeton at Harvard » The teams are fighting for first place in the Ivy League, and both are led by D.C.-area private school products. Princeton forward Ian Hummer, a 6-foot-7 senior from Gonzaga who is second in the conference in scoring (15.7 points per game), battles Harvard guard Christian Webster, a 6-5 senior from Landon who averages 8.7 ppg. (Saturday, 7 p.m., NBCSN)

4 San Diego State at UNLV » Both were ranked early in the year but have been superseded in the Mountain West by No. 19 New Mexico and No. 24 Colorado State. Both have done almost enough to clinch an NCAA at-large bid, but the loser of this one might have reason to start sweating in a league with few walkovers. UNLV won the first meeting at San Diego State. (Saturday, 9 p.m., NBCSN)

3 No. 15 Georgetown at Cincinnati » Over the last three years, Cincinnati is the only team still in the Big East that the Hoyas have not beaten. Some of the four losses have been strange, like last January when the Hoyas outrebounded the Bearcats and shot 59.1 percent from the floor and 60 percent from the arc but surrendered 27 points to dynamic Sean Kilpatrick. (Friday, 9 p.m., ESPN)

2 No. 16 Pittsburgh at No. 18 Marquette » The rise of Jamie Dixon's team was demonstrated Saturday when Pitt handled Cincinnati 62-52 after losing to the same team earlier by nine at home. Now the Panthers try to avenge another home loss. Marquette's win a month ago came in OT after Pitt's Lamar Patterson hit a dramatic 3-pointer at the end of regulation. (Saturday, 1 p.m., CBS)

1 No. 13 Ohio State at No. 20 Wisconsin » Big Ten teams have dominated the top spot in this weekend watch, and why not? With the Big East disintegrating and the ACC playing musical chairs, games in a stable league seem more important. In this one, Wisconsin looks to avenge a 58-49 loss three weeks ago in Columbus in which Deshaun Thomas scored 25 points. (Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS)

LOCAL GAMES

Virginia at North Carolina

When » Saturday, noon

Where » Smith Center,

Chapel Hill, N.C.

TV » Ch. 5

Radio » AM 570

Winning seven of its last eight games, Virginia (18-6, 8-3 ACC) is in high gear behind junior Joe Harris, who is in the best stretch of his career, averaging 21.8 points in his last five games. In his last three, Harris has scored a combined 69 points while taking just 30 shots from the floor. In its ACC opener, Virginia limited North Carolina to 37.3 percent shooting and Harris had 19 points and five rebounds in a 61-52 victory. Coming off a 73-68 loss at Duke, UNC (16-8, 6-5) needs wins to get off the NCAA bubble. The last time Virginia swept a pair in the regular season from UNC was 11 years ago under Pete Gillen.

Holy Cross at American

When » Sunday, noon

Where » Bender Arena

TV » CBS Sports Network

AU (9-15, 4-5) and Holy Cross (11-13, 3-6) are battling for the important fourth slot in the Patriot League standings, which comes with a home game in the first round of the conference tournament. Last month the Crusaders beat the Eagles 79-60 as five players hit double figures. Since then Holy Cross has gone 1-5, while AU has improved on defense. Over the last six games, AU sophomore John Schoof (W.T. Woodson) has hit 19 of his last 35 attempts from beyond the arc (54.3 percent).

Georgia State at George Mason

When » Saturday, 4 p.m.

Where » Patriot Center

TV » CSN

With Georgia State (13-14, 8-6 CAA) destined for the Sun Belt Conference, this is the last chance to see Panthers star R.J. Hunter (17.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg). The 6-foot-5 freshman, the son of GSU coach Ron Hunter, has been unstoppable lately, scoring 38 points against Old Dominion and 27 as the Panthers handed Northeastern its first CAA loss. George Mason (15-10, 8-5), which beat Drexel 68-62 on the road Thursday night, is 8-0 against Georgia State in Virginia, but six of the games have been decided by six or fewer points.

George Washington at VCU

When » Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Where » Siegel Center, Richmond

TV » CSN

Radio » AM 1500

GW (11-11, 5-4 Atlantic 10) enters with more rest. While the Colonials have had a week off following a 59-56 loss at home to Butler, VCU had a challenging game at home Thursday night against Massachusetts. The goal for GW is to finish in the top 12 in the 16-team A-10 and earn a trip to Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the conference tournament. The Colonials are three losses clear of 13th-place Dayton (13-11, 3-7). GW has been one of the best road teams in the A-10, winning three of four.

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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Author:

Kevin Dunleavy

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner